Round Up Part Two: Stillwater, MN

If you are new to the blog this is part two on what is normally a review of my weekend. However I did a lot of cool stuff so I thought it would be less overwhelming in two posts (see part one here). Over the weekend my husband was out of town and I was left to fend for myself. Sometimes it is nice when he is out of town because I can do what I want when I want, other times it can get pretty boring trying to entertain myself. As I get older my friends are harder and harder to get in touch with. Each year that passes everyone has more commitments so we have to plan way in advance these days. That being said, this past Saturday I had squat diddly to do.  My parents called, knowing that Derek was out of town, and asked if I wanted to spend the day with them. I agreed as long as we spent the day outside because it was GORGEOUS! Sunny and warm and I was going to take advantage of it. My dad suggested we head out to Stillwater and walk along the river. For those of you not from around here, Stillwater is a town right on the border of Wisconsin separated by the St. Croix river. It is about 25 or so minutes outside of St. Paul. In the last 30 years or so it has morphed from a ghost town to an antiquing and restaurant destination. It has a main street right on the river, with maintained old buildings full of antique shops, bookstores, restaurants and bars. It is a popular destination during the day due to the shopping and scenery and at night a popular destination for bachelorette parties because of the bars. I counted two while we were and we left around 6:00 PM. Motorcyclists also love it there because it can be a scenic drive and a great place to stop for a burger and a beer. Frankly, sometimes it is tough to talk because the motorcycles are so loud, but I can't blame them it was spectacular on Saturday. They also have a cool lift bridge that takes you into Hudson, WI. I think that is getting remodeled to be a pedestrian only bridge as they build a more  modern bridge for traffic.

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We spent the afternoon walking along the main street and the river. We went into a couple of cute shops including a cool old bookstore my dad wanted to see. For anyone who knows me personally, you know that I do not read. I always say I'm barely literate. So me in a bookstore sounds like one of those jokes that tell what are the signs of the end of the world. But it was way more fascinating that any Barnes and Noble. It had antique books from all genres: fiction, history, psychology, science you name it they had it. So of course I ran to the psychology section, they had a couple neat old psych books and collections of Freud's work. One day when I have a cool office I want a bunch of old books so I look super smart. "Many leather bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany." That's all I want!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset We also walked up and down looking for a coffee shop. We eventually located one basically behind everything called Tin Bins which is part coffee shop part bar. It was deceptively big and had a place for a small band to play. As we walked back to our car we saw about 2-3 other coffee shops that we missed. I am not perceptive. Years ago there was a Starbucks in one of the buildings that I loved because it was a huge space with plush seating. Apparently now it's some fancy "invite only" club. Well joke's on them because I took pictures! ha!

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At the end of the day we attempted to get food some place but failed. Everything was jam packed! My mom and dad remembered this old hotel  with some fancy schmancy restaurants off the main drag so we went to check it out. Turns out it is still there. It is called the Lowell Inn and two blocks off the main road. Guys, it was gorgeous. I tried to snap a few pictures but was worried they would be mad. It was built in 1927 and decorated in Williamsburg and French Provincial styles. There are three dining areas all of which are decorated differently. One looks like a smoking room, one is more of a traditional dining room and one is the garden room. They also have pictures of famous people who have stayed there from Mikhail Baryshnikov to Diane Sawyer. It was pretty neat. I would love to go back there for dinner and to stay sometime .We finished off the day stopping by Stillwater's newest taproom Maple Island Brewery. It is on the main street and opens up to the river. I tried their "Belgian belly dancer" and was might pleased with my choice.

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IMG_1991IMG_1993 Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset  Overall I had a pretty fabulous day. The weather was gorgeous, the town was interesting and I truly enjoy spending time with my parents. So rarely do you get 1:1 time with your parents and it was great to get that time with them. I always forget how cool Stillwater is, if you are ever in the area it is a must try.

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